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How to start a letter of interest
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Job hunting? Learn how to write the perfect letter of interest which will get you noticed in the online jungle. A professional letter of interest and.

Joseph Q. Applicant
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
josephq@email.com
555-212-1234

September 1, 2018

Jane Smith
Director, Human Resources
United International
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321

Dear Ms. Smith:

I recently read an article about United International’s new approach to digital marketing in Marketing Magazine Online, and I’m writing to inquire whether you have any marketing positions open.

I have five years of experience working as a Marketing Strategist for one of our local retail clothing stores. During my time in this role, I increased the number of website page views by 120 percent and reduced the cost of customer acquisition by 20 percent. In addition, our sales increased by 50 percent during that time.

My resume is enclosed with this letter so you can review my education, work experience, and achievements. I would appreciate an opportunity to talk with you or a member of the marketing team to see how my experience and skills could benefit your company. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Joseph Q. Applicant (signature for a hard copy letter)

Joseph Q. Applicant

Letters of interest and cover letters are frequently used So, there sits the member of staff who has to open all the envelopes and review them.

Your complete guide to writing a cover letter for 2019

how to start a letter of interest

A letter of interest is meant to communicate your key skills, qualifications and experiences to a hiring manager when the company has not posted the specific job you are looking for. While a cover letter should communicate your qualities as they are relevant to a specific position, a letter of interest should be more general and focus on the reasons why you’re seeking employment at the company.

In this guide, we’ll discuss when it’s appropriate and how to write a letter of interest, tips to improve your chances of being successful with examples and templates at the end.
 

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What is a letter of interest?

A letter of interest, sometimes referred to as a prospecting letter or letter of inquiry, is an exploratory document sent to organizations who do not publicly state they are hiring for a specific role. These positions are generally available across areas like HR, accounting or sales. If you are looking for more specialized positions, you might send a letter of interest in case recruiters have an opening in the near future or have another position that fits your qualifications instead.

Because different titles often belong to different roles depending on the company, a letter of interest can help recruiters bridge the gap between your skills and their hiring needs. If you are able to connect with a hiring manager or recruiter for an informational interview first, they might direct you to include their name in your letter of interest for better chances.
 

How to write a letter of interest

While each letter of interest should be unique and written specifically for the organization you’re interested in, there are a few key elements you should include in your next letter:

  • Your name
  • Your contact information
  • Date
  • Employer name
  • Employer contact information
  • Greeting
  • Introduction paragraph
  • Two to three body paragraphs
  • Closing paragraph
  • Signature

Your name, contact information and information about the employer should be formatted just like a professional business letter. Let’s discuss what information you should include in your body paragraphs.
 

1. Start with an introduction

Introduction paragraph: In your first paragraph, you should quickly introduce yourself and explain why you are writing. Here, you should discuss the reasons why you are excited at the prospect of working for the company and why you admire its goals, products, marketing or other relevant quality.
 

2. Include recent skills you’ve developed

First body paragraph: Much like a cover letter, your first body paragraph should include specific soft and hard skills you gained from your most recent professional endeavor as well as any key accomplishments. Include numbers to measure your impact when possible.
 

3. Describe your employment background

Second body paragraph: Use the second paragraph to explain key skills and accomplishments from another professional experience. If possible, select an important project or story about when you reached an important milestone, reached a large goal for your organization or made some other impact.
 

4. Explain why this job is the right fit

Closing paragraph: Use the last paragraph to tie your most relevant skills and values back to the company and why you want to work there. Express excitement about possible next steps and gratitude for their time and consideration.
 

Letter of interest tips

Writing a letter of interest can seem like sending a note into a black hole. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of hearing back from employers.
 

Research the company

Having a deep understanding of the company, their goals and their values can help your letter seem more relevant to the audience. By reading their mission statement, recent press releases and other company news, you can tie your own core values into your reasons for expressing interest in the company.
 

Network

Finding connections that work at the company you’re sending a letter of interest to can help you get additional tips on making your letter stand out. If possible, ask your connections for an informational interview to learn more about the company and their role there.
 

Learn the audience’s name

Including the name of your reader in the greeting can quickly make your letter stand out. Doing online research or asking around your network can help you learn about hiring stakeholders that might be responsible for vetting letters of interest. It is even better if you have the chance to connect with them over email, networking event or an informational interview. If you’re unsure, it is acceptable to address them as “Dear Sir or Madam,”
 

Include versatile skills

Unlike a cover letter where you can use keywords from a job description to emphasize relevant skills, a letter of interest should serve as a more general record of your most impressive accomplishments. While you should focus on your specialties, skills and
 

Letter of interest example

Here is a letter of interest example for a marketing candidate based on the tips and format above. This is not meant to be an exact template, but rather a general source of inspiration as you create your own letter:

Cody Fredrickson
(123) 456-7891
[email protected]

May 1, 2018

Crane & Jenkins
555 Cherry Lane

Dear Sir or Madam,

Crane & Jenkins has a reputation in the community for creating innovative marketing campaigns based in a foundation of strategic market research. As a marketing manager with more than five years’ experience at leading agencies, I’ve cultivated a talent for developing creative and successful marketing strategies. I’m excited about combining my skills and my desire to serve the community with Crane & Jenkins’ extensive nonprofit client portfolio.

During my previous role at Cloud Clearwater, I developed three of the agency’s top-producing advertising campaigns. My work included a rebranding campaign that generated a 57% increase in response rates, an email win-back strategy that netted more than $1 million in renewed accounts, and a CLIO-nominated mobile retargeting campaign for the company’s biggest client. I was commended by my manager for demonstrating strong skills in developing high-value client relationships, inspiring innovative creativity, and finding new ways to grow revenue in key target verticals.

As someone who has led more than 20 major digital marketing campaigns in the last two years, I understand the need to stay on top of the latest trends and remain adaptable in the rapidly changing digital marketing environment. I am strongly committed to continuing to refine my skills, and my passion for technology has kept me on the cutting edge of mobile marketing strategies.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have long admired Crane & Jenkin’s dedication to making a difference both for their clients and ultimately for the underserved in the world. As these are values I carry into my own work, I am eager to have the opportunity to join your team. I believe my digital marketing skills will bring a competitive advantage to Crane & Jenkins, and I’m excited to meet with you and discuss how we can best work together.

Sincerely,

Cody Fredrickson

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The Difference Between a Cover Letter and a Letter of Interest

how to start a letter of interest

If you’re starting a job search in 2019, getting your cover letter right is just as important as perfecting your CV.

After hours spent crafting your CV, it can seem a little superfluous to transfer the information into letter format. However, your cover letter shouldn’t be a regurgitation of your CV. Instead, it should zoom in on a few key skills and experiences on your CV that the employer values the most. As a result, your cover letter should be bespoke for every application.

Some recruiters may receive hundreds of applications a day, so your cover letter gives you a chance to stand out from the crowd. With 57.1% of professionals ranking the cover letter as an essential application component, you can’t afford to leave it out.

We know that writing these letters can seem daunting at first, especially as it can feel like there’s a lot to remember. To help, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to building your cover letter and tailoring it for each opportunity you apply to.

Download our cover letter template

Do your research

Research is a crucial part of many aspects of job hunting, and before you begin writing your cover letter, you need to make sure you’ve done your research properly.

The important things you should research before writing are:

  • Who will be receiving and reading your letter
  • The skills and experience mentioned in the job description
  • The company and its culture
  • Their competitors and market position
  • The sector and any recent news or trends
  • The organisation’s aims for 2019 and beyond

Building up a good knowledge of the company and industry helps you to tailor your cover letter for each company you apply to, and shows your passion for the job and sector.

The basic format

There’s a basic format for writing a cover letter that you can follow each time. However, every letter you write should be tailored to the specific job role or company you’re applying for.

Your cover letter should address the following:

  • Which position interests you and why
  • Your most relevant skills and experiences
  • How your skills and experiences can benefit the employer
  • Requesting an interview

Below is a basic break down of how you should structure your cover letter for 2019:

How to structure and write a cover letter

In 2018, it’s very rare for cover letters to be hard copies as most are sent online. However, traditional cover letter conventions state that your cover letter should be written like any other formal business letter, even if you’re emailing it.

Start with your address and contact details in the top right-hand corner. Make sure your contact details are sensible – email addresses like [email protected] won’t make you look very professional!  You should then follow this with the address of the company you’re applying for and the date further down and on the left-hand side.

[Your address Line 1]

[Address Line 2]

[Address Line 3]

[Phone Number]

[Company address line 1]

[Company address line 2]

[Date]

To [Name],

Paragraph 1:

Your opening paragraph should be short and sweet made up of three things: why you’re writing the letter, the position you’re applying for, how you found out about the position. For example: “I am writing to apply for the role of [job title], in response to an advert I saw on [name of job site]. Please find my CV attached.”

Paragraph 2:

The second paragraph should be about you, expanding on your CV and giving a brief summary of any relevant skills or education you have. Remember, your cover letter shouldn’t be a copy of your CV; it should take your most notable achievements, explain a bit more about them, and then show how these skills could benefit the employer. Mirror the skills mentioned and the phrasing that’s used in the job description.

Paragraph 3:

The third paragraph is your chance to show your knowledge of the company and the sector and go into detail about why you want to work for their company specifically. You should state how you can help the company and add to their success, as well as why you’ll fit in with the company culture and core values.

Paragraph 4:

End your letter with a call to action. As you’re hoping to secure an interview, let them know your availability for a callback. If you plan to follow up with a phone call, say so! If you plan to wait for a response, close with “I look forward to hearing from you”. Thank them for taking the time to read your letter and sign off with:

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

Download our cover letter template

Sending a cover letter online

With today’s technology, it’s common to send a cover letter – and a whole job application, for that matter – online or by email. This is especially common on job boards like CV-Library, and even with direct employers. If you need to send a cover letter online or via email, the approach you should take is a little different in terms of formatting.

If you just need to send your cover letter as an attachment, then write it as explained before. When it comes to saving it, make sure you use the .PDF file extension; any computer will be able to view the file, and all your formatting will be preserved.

Windows PCs use the .docx file extension for documents by default, whereas Macs use .pages. Avoid either of these, because there’s a chance that the employer won’t be able to open your cover letter. Stick with .PDF.

If you need to send your cover letter as the actual body text of your email, your approach will need to be slightly different. First, make sure you format the subject line of your email like so:

Application for [Job Title] – [Your Name]

If you were given a reference number, include that in the subject line as well. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to think about the layout of your letter. The paragraphs can be the same as a hard copy of your cover letter, but you can remove the addresses, date and signature.

If you’re applying for a job via a job board, you can sometimes afford to scale down your cover letter to key components. Check out this cover letter template for 2019:

Hi [Name],

I am interested in applying for the current vacancy you have for a [job title].

In my current role as [role title] with [company name], I am responsible for [insert relevant experience relating to job advert] but am currently looking to make a step up into a more challenging role with a reputable company who can offer career growth.

I am currently on a notice period of [notice period] and can interview immediately.

Kind regards,

[Name]

[Phone number]

[Email]

How long should my cover letter be?

Your cover letter should be no longer than a single A4 page. This can be tricky, especially since you want to impress the employer with all your skills and experience. But trust us; they simply won’t be interested in reading a 3,000-word essay. Even if they were, they probably just wouldn’t have the time! Keep it short, sweet, and simple.

Tailoring each cover letter

Each cover letter you write should be tailored specifically to the company and role you’re writing it for and should be detailed. Therefore you’ll want to avoid vague and generic phrases.

During the research stage, try to find the name of the hiring manager or whoever will be reading your letter. This way you can make the letter even more personal, and it will prove you’re a determined candidate who wants this job.

If you really can’t get hold of their name, you should instead start the letter with “Dear Sir or Madam” – but remember, if you don’t know their name, ensure you sign off your letter with “Yours faithfully” instead.

Read the job description so you can pick which of your skills or experiences to reference, and try to mirror some of the phrases they use in the job description. Illustrate your skills with examples to show why you’re the ideal candidate; as each company and role will be different, you’ll probably find that you’re using different examples on each letter.

Having done your research, you should also be able to talk specifically about the company in greater detail. Refer to their values or specific campaigns they have run that you enjoyed. This way they’ll know that you took the time to learn about their company and that you’re genuinely interested in them and the role.

When there’s no job advertised

If you haven’t seen an advertised position, but you’re contacting a company to find out if they currently have any vacancies, the format will be slightly different as you’ll be submitting a cold-contact cover letter.

You should address the letter formally as before, and try to get hold of the name of the hiring manager.

As you aren’t responding to a job ad, you should use your opening paragraph to explain why you’re writing to them and what it was that drew you to their company. If the reason for your application is a recommendation from someone, you know that already works there include their name.

You should also refer to the area of the company that you’d like to go into, for example, marketing or sales.

The body of the letter should remain relatively the same, highlighting your skills and experiences and giving detailed examples. Reiterate why you’re interested in their company specifically, talk about the sector and show that you’ve done your research.

In this instance, you should close the letter by thanking them for their time and expressing your interest in hearing from them with any available job vacancies that they may have.

Remember, each cover letter should be unique (even if you follow the basic format), and the aim is to make yourself stand out to recruiters. Follow these steps to writing your cover letter, and try to have fun with it!

Marketing yourself

In both your CV and your cover letter you should try to imagine yourself as a commodity and sell yourself to the company. There are several ways you can market yourself, and most of this will come from your research.

You need to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the sector so that you can effectively explain why you’ll be beneficial to their company. As well as listing your skills and qualifications you could also demonstrate your interpersonal skills through talking about social activities and clubs.

All these aspects should help you build a case for why you’re going to add to the success of the company.

Top tips for success in 2019

Follow these cover letter tips for success to make sure you avoid making some fatal cover letter mistakes.

1. Keep it short

It may seem difficult with so much information to include, but you need to keep your cover letter short and sweet. Recruiters will give each letter about 20 to 30 seconds of their time, so it should be no more than an A4 page – they won’t trawl through ten pages, no matter how experienced and skilled you are.

2. Don’t just re-write your CV

The point of a cover letter is to expand upon your CV, not just re-write it—your CV should be attached to accompany your letter. Make sure you pick the most relevant examples and give details of your achievements.

3. Sign by hand

If you’re sending the letter in the post (old school, we know) then you should sign the letter by hand before you send it off—it adds a personal and more professional touch.

4. Sending online

Macs and PCs haven’t quite learnt to work in total harmony yet, and the last thing you want is the recruiter being unable to open your document. Instead, save your final CV as a pdf file; that way you know they’ll be able to open it on any device.

5. Proofread

Once you’ve written your letter, check it over for mistakes and perhaps even have someone else read it over too. Recruiters aren’t going to take you seriously if you’ve made silly spelling or grammar mistakes.

6. Avoid clichés

Each letter should be personal, so avoid clichéd phrases that recruiters have read a thousand times! Don’t just say “I’m a team player”, these buzzwords and phrases won’t make you stand out. Instead, choose an example of when you worked well in a team and explain what happened and what you achieved.

7. Use numbers

If you can, use numbers or stats to illustrate your points as it’s a nice way to quantify your results and adds to the format of the letter.

8. Be creative

Writing cover letters doesn’t have to be boring; you can be a bit creative in your approach – especially if you’re going into a creative industry or job role. Play around with layouts and formats; as long as all the important information is in there and the layout isn’t distracting, have fun with it!

9. Use bullet points

This is not always necessary, but depending on the format you’ve chosen or the job role you’re applying for, bullet points could be an effective way of demonstrating your points and adding to the layout.

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Related Career Advice articles

Appropriate openings and closings that convey professionalism and polish. Use our tips on how to start your cover letter with a proper greeting and sign off with.

How to open and close your cover letter

how to start a letter of interest

Cover letters and letters of interest are tools that job-seekers use as a way to introduce themselves to potential employers. Typically, a cover letter accompanies a resume, and is often used when applying for a posted job opening; a letter of interest takes a slightly different slant, and serves as a means for expressing an interest in working for a company, regardless of whether or not an open position is being advertised.

Elements of a Cover Letter

A strong, well-written cover letter grabs the reader's attention and makes a person stand out as a job applicant. It should be powerful, express genuine interest, and demonstrate a knowledge of the company and the position. Example:

I was thrilled to learn that a position has opened up in your creative writing division. Having heard CEO Marsha Brandt speak at the 2017 Annual Writer's Conference, I have been keeping a close eye on potential job opportunities with your company. The work you produce with regard to inspirational gift books and CDs is stellar, and I would appreciate the opportunity to utilize my creative writing skills as a member of your staff.

Additionally, a cover letter should provide an overview of your qualifications and experience, and include a mention of least one of your more notable accomplishments.

As you will see from my attached resume, I have been a freelance greeting card writer for five years. I have been recognized for my writing work with three different industry awards. In addition to the creative work I do in the card industry, I also teach a creative writing course at a local community arts center.

Your cover letter should end with a request for an interview and a reiteration of your interest.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet in person and learn more about what you're looking for in this position. I would be happy to bring my writing portfolio, which, I believe, will demonstrate how I could blend into your organization.

Elements of a Letter of Interest

A letter of interest can be a way to introduce yourself and express an interest in the possibility of future employment with a company. This can be helpful if you are starting a job search; if the company is new to the market; or, if you've relocated to the area and you don't feel in touch with the job market. Although a letter of interest should include a lot of the same information as a traditional cover letter, the opening is slightly different. When outlining your areas of interest, qualifications and credentials, your opening will be slightly different. Example:

Having just relocated to the area with my wife, I started my job search and am interested in a role in finance/accounting. I have my MBA from Anytown University, plus five years of experience working as the accounts payable manager for a Fortune 500 company.

As a long-time fan of XYZ Co., I wanted to introduce myself and to let you know if you ever need a warehouse supervisor or shift manager, I would appreciate being considered for the job. I have significant experience, a proven track record, and am available to work any shift necessary.

Recently, I read that you will be expending operations into the southern region of the city, and I would like learn more about your staffing needs at the new center. I have 10 years experience in cyber-security data management, and given the nature of the industry, feel my skills and experience could be of value.

The ending to a letter of interest can include a request for a meeting or phone call or a request to be notified if an appropriate opening becomes available.

Letter Enclosures

When sending a cover letter in reference to an open job, you'll always want to include a copy of your resume. It doesn't hurt to include a resume with your letter of interest either, and in fact, you may do well to include letters of reference, copies of certification or other documentation that demonstrates your capabilities and qualifications. In both instances, if you are making contact based on the recommendation of someone else, like a tip or lead from a colleague or friend, make sure you note that in your letter as well. My former boss Bill Ross told me you might be in the market for a new sales accounting manager.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. She specializes in business, finance, workplace/career and education. Publications she’s written for include Southwest Exchange and InBusiness Las Vegas.

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: How to Write Letter of Interest in a Job - Adiony

If you hear your organization is considering opening up a new position at work that aligns with your skills, experience and career goals, write a letter of interest.

how to start a letter of interest
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